Businesses of all sizes have been looking for ways to make their operations more efficient and cost-effective. That’s why intelligent automation is a godsend, and it’s the perfect tool to help organizations simplify and streamline their processes.
By combining artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), intelligent process automation (IPA) can automate mundane and repetitive tasks, freeing up workers to focus on higher-value activities. But what is intelligent process automation, and how can you use it in your business to maximize efficiency?
Read on to learn about intelligent process automation, including what it is, how you can use it, and its benefits.
So, What Is Intelligent Process Automation?
Intelligent process automation (IPA) is an automation technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), and business process management (BPM) to automate specific tasks. This type of automation relies on data analysis to make decisions and modifies processes based on the results. IPA can streamline entire processes or just specific steps within them.
Also known as intelligent automation or cognitive automation, intelligent process automation builds workflows to simplify processes and functions, maximize resources, and improve operational performance. It can also learn, improve, and adapt to ever-changing conditions without human intervention.
Intelligent process automation is comprised of several components, including:
- Artificial Intelligence: AI mimics human intelligence and analyzes data to identify patterns, make decisions, and automate processes.
- Machine Learning: ML enables systems to learn from data, predict outcomes, and improve processes over time.
- Computer Vision: This technology uses optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent character recognition (ICR) to interpret images and documents and convert them into text.
- Process Mining: This technology tracks, analyzes, and visualizes every step of a business process to identify and improve inefficiencies.
- Natural Language Processing: NLP enables computer systems to understand, interpret, and manipulate human language.
- Business Process Management: BPM monitors and organizes the different stages of a business process to improve operational efficiency.
- Robotic Process Automation: RPA uses software robots or “bots” to quickly accomplish repetitive, routine tasks, such as data extraction and transfers to save you time.
How Does It Work?
Intelligent process automation analyzes data, makes decisions, and automates processes for a more efficient workflow. It uses AI and ML to recognize patterns in data, determine which pathways are best for the job at hand, and suggest automated solutions to speed up processes. The system can also improve based on the data it collects and learn from its mistakes.
Here are some of the ways that intelligent process automation can help you.
Intelligent process automation can discover and document processes, making them easier to follow. It can identify inefficiencies and potential bottlenecks, allowing you to take steps to reduce them. This awareness enables businesses to be more flexible and disaster-ready, allowing them to respond more quickly to changes in the market.
As intelligent process automation optimizes business processes, it can help you reach out to customers more effectively and make you more approachable through new channels. For example, chatbots can eliminate repetitive tasks and increase productivity. Intelligent automation can also help optimize customer service, streamline customer requests, and increase customer satisfaction.
Analytics and Insight
Intelligent process automation can analyze data to provide valuable insights. This can help you identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to improve your performance. It also helps keep your business operations “clean” by scrubbing data and systems to eliminate redundancies, errors, anomalies, value leaks, and fraudulent activities.
Benefits of IPA
By leveraging intelligent process automation, you can save time, money, and resources and stay ahead of your competition. Here are some of the key benefits and advantages of using intelligent process automation:
Implement End-to-End Automation of Business Processes
From data extraction to decision-making, intelligent process automation can automate tedious, manual tasks and speed up processes. This allows you to save time and resources by eliminating the need for manual labor. It also increases operational efficiency and productivity and lets you focus on innovation and growth.
Organize and Process Complex Data
Intelligent process automation can collect, store, analyze, and manipulate unstructured data from multiple sources. This helps you make better decisions regarding your operations. It also allows you to identify new opportunities for improved customer experiences and more efficient operations.
Improve Code Quality
IPA ensures up-to-date and secure code through advanced analytics. It can also provide immediate test results and feedback for code runs and changes, which helps you quickly identify potential bugs and ensure better performance. You can also program intelligent automation to detect errors and inconsistencies and take corrective measures.
Speed up Release Cycles
When used for software testing and deployments, intelligent process automation can speed up release cycles by prioritizing test cases and repeating testing frameworks. This allows you to focus on significant variables and run tests based on priority levels. IPA can also be integrated into your pipeline to expedite development lifecycles, accelerate product releases and improving ROI.
Reduce Operational Obstacles
Intelligent process automation can identify and remove roadblocks in the workflow and free employees to focus on customer-centric tasks. Combining RPA and AI allows you to manage legacy systems and integrate front-office and back-office processes. This simplifies the user experience, optimizes organizational operations, enhances operational transparency, improves customer experiences, and reduces operating costs.
Strengthen Cybersecurity and Ensure Compliance
Using intelligent process automation helps you regularly analyze your system to identify potential security threats and deal with system vulnerabilities. This helps protect your data and systems from cybercriminals and ensures you operate in a secure environment. IPA also makes it easier to follow best industry practices, adhere to strict compliance regulations, and meet industry standards.
Eliminate Exceptions and Errors
By leveraging RPA and machine learning, intelligent process automation can improve regular tasks and complex processes while identifying and automatically addressing exceptions. This helps you make the right decisions faster and eliminate errors. It also self-learns and updates procedures to keep up with the changing needs of your business, which further reduces exceptions and errors.
Encourage Employees To Focus on More Strategic Initiatives
Utilizing IPA frees up your employees from mundane tasks so they can focus on more strategic initiatives that require more human intervention and skills. They can work on creative tasks, develop innovative ideas, and collaborate with other departments, increasing employee motivation and satisfaction. Happy employees adapt well to innovation, increasing business agility while improving customer service and reducing employee fatigue.
Improve Overall Customer Experience
Intelligent process automation can help you provide a better customer experience by streamlining product or service releases and providing accurate and timely responses to customer queries. IPA also allows you to automate sales processes, track customer interactions, and continuously monitor customer feedback for improvements. This helps you anticipate customer needs and deliver personalized experiences that improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Reduce Cost and Improve Overall Productivity
IPA lowers costs by reducing manual labor and automating procedures. It also allows you to gain more insights from data, helping you make better decisions faster. All these helps to improve organizational efficiency and productivity while driving growth and profitability.
Practical Applications of Intelligent Automation
Various sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance, retail, and human resources, utilize IPA. It helps organizations across industries improve overall operations and customer experience while minimizing costs and errors.
Other uses include the following.
Intelligent process automation automatically captures structured and unstructured information from documents, emails, and other digital sources. It then extracts the data, processes it, and classifies it for easy retrieval. This helps to speed up the data entry process and reduce manual effort.
Reduce Quality Check Errors in Production Line
By automating manufacturing processes, intelligent process automation detects and identifies defects on the production line. It saves time, money, and resources by reducing mistakes and improving quality-checking processes. This helps to minimize quality check errors, improve accuracy, and optimize productivity.
Prioritize Customer Support Tickets According to Urgency
IPA helps customer support teams provide faster and better service. It uses natural language processing (NLP) to analyze customer requests and prioritize tickets according to urgency levels. This ensures that customers receive accurate and timely responses while reducing the workload of support staff.
Optimize Customer Onboarding Experience
IPA reduces the time and effort needed for customer onboarding by capturing customer data accurately and securely, verifying submitted information, and automating document processing. It simplifies the onboarding process and provides customers with a more seamless experience.
Automate Retention and Destruction of Sensitive Documents
Intelligent process automation can help you securely store, archive, and destroy documents containing sensitive information. It automates the retention and destruction of customer data according to legal requirements, thus protecting your business from potential data breaches or regulatory penalties. This helps improve overall privacy and customer trust.
Rounding Up: How to Kickstart Your IA Strategy
Intelligent automation can transform business operations, creating more streamlined processes, greater customer satisfaction, and improved productivity. To get started on your IA journey, consider the following.
Get Approval from Management
Before implementing IA, ensure that your management team is on board. They need to understand the benefits of IA and how it will help improve operational efficiency and productivity. Show them how they will benefit from your IA strategy.
Start small and gradually scale up your IA capabilities. Don’t dive right in and try to automate everything in one go. Instead, pick a few processes to test to understand how it works. This will help you identify any issues or obstacles so you can make necessary adjustments early on.
Develop the Mindset of “Automation-first”
When delegating tasks to your team members, consider whether automation is a more feasible solution. Automating mundane and time-consuming tasks can free up your team’s time for more meaningful work. Embrace AI and automation and help your team work more efficiently and productively.
Implement Your Learnings
While IA can seem like a superpower, technology has its limits, and it can sometimes go wrong. Don’t be afraid to fail and make mistakes along the way. Learn from them, adjust your strategy accordingly, and continually refine your IA operations for maximum efficiency.
Introducing intelligent process automation into your operations can transform how you do business, allowing you to work more efficiently and productively. But with so much complexity involved in setting up IA systems and processes, you must have the right resources for a successful implementation.
QASource can help you every step of the way. We have experienced experts who can provide comprehensive, cost-effective automation solutions tailored to your organization’s needs. Contact us today and discover how intelligent process automation can help you maximize business success.